Colorful plastic roller skates, cups, baseball caps, ponies and sand shovels littered a wall and the floor of the Huntington Center, the new Lucas County ice arena, yesterday afternoon as three artists from BGSU installed “Re-surgence,” a sculpture of recycled, donated toys and kitchen utensils. The 50-foot-long piece forms a silhouette of the Maumee River. Visitors to the arena will “flow” along with it as they ride the escalator to the second floor. “Re-surgence” is at the Jefferson-Huron street entrance to the arena.
BGSU sculpture instructor Greg Mueller and School of Art alumni Sayaka Ganz and Steve Williams’s proposal won a national competition sponsored by the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo. “We chose to make our sculpture out of recycled materials to be in tune with the building, which is LEED-certified,” Mueller said, adding that Ganz also frequently works with reclaimed plastic in her own art. “We wanted to capture the concepts of water, energy and movement to complement the hockey arena, and to celebrate the shape of the Maumee River as it flows from Maumee into Lake Erie.”
The sculpture was constructed at downtown Toledo’s Imagination Station, the interactive science museum. Ganz said her favorite aspect of working there was the “great energy from the kids—it rubs off on us.”
The most difficult part of the project was getting enough of the red, blue, green and purple plastic pieces. “The idea was to obtain linear shapes that would create a motion similar to
the Maumee’s so that your eyes would flow from one end of the sculpture to the other,” Williams said. The project was part of an Art Walk event earlier this summer in which kids could fasten parts to sections of the sculpture, in keeping with the community-ownership theme of the piece.
The artists agreed that the best parts about the project were being part of a team and having the support and involvement of community leaders and businesses. “I think what is unique about Toledo and Bowling Green is that people are accessible to help. It seems like people are willing to open their doors,” Mueller said. “Toledo is embracing the arts, and that is exciting to be part of.”
The public is invited to meet the artists at a “sneak peek” of the artwork from 6-8 p.m. Friday (Aug. 6).